FluxBB Review

(October 31, 2008 14:31)
Last Version 1.5.3 (March, 22 2013). Released under GPL License.
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What is FluxBB?

FluxBB is a free and open source forum application. Its ancestor, the famous PunBB will give you some indications about the goals of this forum software: simplicity, speed and easy-of-use.

Since the PunBB rights sold to a commercial company in 2007, FluxBB is now the official main fork of PunBB.

Review Updates:

  • January 6, 2011: Update with FluxBB 1.4.5.
  • January 6, 2011: Update with FluxBB 1.4.2.
  • March 1, 2010: Update with FluxBB 1.2.22.

FluxBB is recommended for Medium Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • PHP 4
  • PHP 5
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
  • Lighttpd
  • Nginx
Databases
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • SQLite
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
HTML, Javascript, AJAX, CSS.
Localization
Languages supported by FluxBB.
Yes.
Supported Languages:
Bosnian Bangali
Bulgarian Portuguese (Brazilian)
Belarusian Catalan
Chinese (Simplified) Czech
German Danish
Spanish French
Greek Croatian
Hungarian Indonesian
Hebrew Hindi
Persian Icelandic
Italian Japanese
Korean (South) Kurdish
Lithuanian Latvian
Macedonian Dutch
Norwegian Urdu
Polish Portuguese
Romanian Serbian
Russian Arabic
Swedish Slovak
Thai Turkish
Ukrainian Vietnamese
Afrikaans Chinese (Traditional)

The full list is available at the FluxBB Download page.

FluxBB - Homepage

It is advised to install FluxBB software on Linux server, with Apache web server and an open source database, like MySQL or PostgreSQL.

One interesting feature supported by FluxBB is the native connector to SQLite database, which is really worth if you do not have any particular database daemon on your server.

SQLite is a database API and uses the SQL query language and that only use one file locally. These is particularly useful for PHP hosting that does not allow connection to remote (or local) databases.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
No.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
No.

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat/Threaded Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • URL Redirection Forum
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons No Topic Tags No
Hot Topics Yes Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics No Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads No Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements Yes
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
No
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
  • Use BBCode or HTML. Need to type the URL of an already hosted image.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
No.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Plugin Syntax Highlighting Plugin
Message Rating
Plugin Message Quoting Yes

FluxBB - Create New Topic

Topics and Threads are extremely easy to manage and create. The layout is really clear, and only contains important things: what is enabled or not (BBCodes, images, smileys), and two input in which you can type your message: Hard to be more simplistic... But this is clearly efficient and effective, no flourish, just a pure forum software

The Attachment Module is of course available for those that requires the possibility of uploading a file with each post.

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Plugin
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Plugin
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Plugin
Calendar
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
No
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Yes
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Yes
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
No.
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
A
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Yes
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
No
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
No.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Yes
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).
  • Custom Template Engine

FluxBB - User List

Once again, minimal forum features are implemented. However, these features are technically sufficient to support a classical forum. These missing features, which could be considered as missing for persons used to use heavy forum softwares like phpBB or vBulletin, are however a very interesting point you cannot omit: FluxBB is a very fast software, and does not need T1 connection for every members of your community.

Another Private Message System and Simple Poll / Poll Mod are both available if you need to setup a private message inbox for each user and provide polls in your forum.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about FluxBB features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Yes
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Yes
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
No
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
No
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Yes
Avatars
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Yes
Signature
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Yes
Ranks
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)
Plugin

FluxBB - User Profile Essential

User Profiles are quite complete, with many optional information each member can fill to describe himself/herself. You will not find any messaging system, as FluxBB developers considered (and we do agree!), that emails are already there for this particular purpose.

Moderation & Users Management

FluxBB Administration - User Groups

Moderation is quite complete because each moderator can have access to specific forum categories, and you can even define your own user groups in order to customize the access people have to your forum.

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Yes
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Yes
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Yes
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
Yes
User Registration
  • Free Registration
  • Registration needs Approval
  • Invitation Only
  • Confirmation sent by email for validation
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Yes
Guest Posting Yes
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
No
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
Yes
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Yes
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Yes
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Yes
Administration Tools
Statistics
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
No
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Yes
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Manual Upgrading
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Yes
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to FluxBB.
Yes.
  • PhpBB 3
  • PhpBB 2.x
  • SMF 1.1
  • Invision Power Board

PunBB Migration Tool is normally compatible with FluxBB, which means you can migrate from the software above to FluxBB.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
CAPTCHA
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Plugin
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
No
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
Yes
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
Yes
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.
Yes

FluxBB Administration - Bans

Even if this is not clearly displayed, FluxBB is able to limit spams and fake members using several features: email validation, limited number of accounts created in a specific range of time for a particular IP address... And if spams reach you forum, you will still be able to ban spamming users and do a batch cleanup of useless posts and topics.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting FluxBB.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting FluxBB.

Customization & Social Networks

Customization
Plugins
Add new features to your forum installation.
Yes.
~152 Available Plugins.
Installation: [++[ Normal
Themes
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Yes.
Custom BBCodes Patch Smiley Packs Patch
Custom
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
No
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
No.
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).
No.

There is no way by default to support social networks, but, as usual, mods are there to complete this miss:

  • Use the I Like It mod for integrating Facebook in your forum.
  • If you need user accounts integration with several portals (Yandex, Google, Rambler, Mail.Ru, OpenID technology...) and social networks (Twitter, Vkontakte and Facebook), then Loginza is perfect for you.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML / XHTML Markup
XHTML 1.1 Strict.
XHTML 1.1 Strict
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
CSS 2
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AA level.
AA
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Yes
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does FluxBB correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?
Yes.

Norms respect and accessibility are one of the best point of FluxBB. The themes are only a simple CSS files, easily modified (no example however, webmaster will need to learn CSS W3 norms by heart).

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make FluxBB unique:

  • CSS theming
  • Very good localization
  • Many translations
  • Really simple

Final Words


Good.

No doubt about this, FluxBB is clearly a pure PunBB fork.

Indeed, it has all advantages and inconveniences of its parent : FluxBB is a really good and simple software. It implements minimal features a forum software needs and these features are sufficient to support an important community.

Webmasters who are looking for forum software with many and many features will not find their happiness with FluxBB, but those with minimal requirements or who need to install and customize quickly a forum will be delighted by FluxBB.

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Comments (9)

i like fluxbb forum

Innocent i like fluxbb forum

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FluxBB is a lightweight free

FluxBB is a lightweight free software PHP-based internet discussion board system. FluxBB is a fork of the PunBB project, created in response to developers protesting the increasing emphasis of a partnership with a corporate organization on the PunBB project.

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FluxBB 1.5.0 has been

FluxBB 1.5.0 has been released. Mainly anti-spam release (but without any captcha, or anything like this).

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lastnico's picture

Thanks, it's updated.

Thanks, it's updated.

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.

Top

Can you guys please update

Can you guys please update this review? It's very out-of-date. FluxBB is now on version 1.5.3 as of 22nd March 2013.

Also, you should change those things:

Message Rating: No -> Plugin
Syntax Highlighting: No -> Plugin
Instant Messaging: No -> Plugin
Ranks: 1.4-branch: Yes, 1.5-branch: Plugin
Shadow Topics: No -> Yes
Limit Features For New Users: No -> Yes
Backup Database: No -> Yes
Restore Database: No -> Yes
User Blacklist: No -> Yes
IP Blocking: No -> Yes
Plugins: 62 -> 152

That should cover it...

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lastnico's picture

Great, I've updated the

Great, I've updated the review, thanks.

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.

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hitechito's picture

FluxBB is a free PHP chat

FluxBB is a free PHP chat software based internet light on the motherboard software. FluxBB is a fork of phpBB project created in response to protest developers greater attention to partnerships with phpBB project business organization.

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No, phpBB is NOT a commercial

No, phpBB is NOT a commercial software.

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Spanish language is supported

Spanish language is supported in FluxBB.

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